David Frum Admits He Was Wrong About Same-Sex Marriage

David Frum admits he was wrong about same-sex marriage, and therefore isn’t upset about its passage in New York:

The short answer is that the case against same-sex marriage has been tested against reality. The case has not passed its test.

Since 1997, same-sex marriage has evolved from talk to fact.

If people like me had been right, we should have seen the American family become radically more unstable over the subsequent decade and a half.

Instead — while American family stability has continued to deteriorate — it has deteriorated much more slowly than it did in the 1970s and 1980s before same-sex marriage was ever seriously thought of.

Same-sex marriage didn’t turn out to cause the collapse of civilization. I’ve always suspected that its acceptance would gradually increase as people realized this. It is a shame more people didn’t realize this before his former boss, George Bush, used referendums against same-sex marriage to get people out to the polls in 2004.

Torchwood: Miracle Day Premiere Date Announced for the UK.

Torchwood Miracle Day UK premiere date finally announced–Thursday July 14 at 9pm on BBC1. The season is premiering July 8 in the US (Starz), July 9 in Canada (Space) and July 9 in Australia (UKTV).

Psychics At CNN

CNN has resorted to bringing in psychics to predict the economic future. This places their credibility just barely above that of Fox.

Posted in News Media. Tags: . No Comments »

High School Does Not Matter

Jessica Bruder has one of those articles in The New York Times Sunday Book Review on how the geeks from high school rule the world. SteveM disagrees. This conventional wisdom  provided an amusing plot device for a number of movies and television shows. It appears true if you look at Bill Gates, and even appears true if you look at a lot of others who have made fortunes in Silicon Valley. I’m sure there are many cases where this is not true. In reality, high school just does not matter all that much. If anyone is going to accomplish something significant in life, they are certainly not exactly as they were in high school. There are also many paths to success which suit different types of people.

Believing that the geeks will ultimately rule is reassuring to some. Hopefully the message that high school does not matter all that much provides at least as much benefit.

Quote of the Day

“New Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is fluent in Chinese. In a short period of time the Republicans have come quite a long way. The last Republican president wasn’t even fluent in English.” –David Letterman

SciFi Weekend: Two Weeks Until Torchwood: Miracle Day; True Blood and Weeds Return This Week; Game of Thrones

Starz has released the following synopses of the first seven of ten episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Episodes air one day later, on Saturdays, in Canada. There is no official word yet regarding airing in the U.K. but one site has stated that there is a one hour gap on their schedule for July 9th, leading them to suspect that this is when it will start.

1. The New World8th July 10:00pm

When death itself comes to a halt, the whole world faces its greatest danger yet. CIA agent Rex Matheson has only one clue – Torchwood.

2. Rendition15th July, 10:00pm

As the Torchwood team is reunited, Jack realizes he’s the most vulnerable man on Earth. A flight to the United States turns into a desperate battle for survival.

3. Dead of Night22nd July, 10:00pm

Torchwood goes on the run and finds a new enemy, but as they launch a raid on PhiCorp headquarters, Jack must confront the mysterious Oswald Danes.

4. Escape to L.A.29th July 2011

The fight against PhiCorp takes the Torchwood team to California, where a trap is waiting. Meanwhile, Oswald and Jilly find themselves with an enemy of their own.

5. The Categories Of Life5th August, 10:00pm

Torchwood goes undercover and discovers the terrible truth behind the Miracle. The enemy is closing in, and death is about to make a shocking return.

6. The Middle Men12th August, 10:00pm

With Gwen, Rex and Esther trapped on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s a race against time as Jack goes straight to the heart of the conspiracy.

7. Immortal Sins19th August 2011, 10:00pm
Gwen must fight to protect her family and takes a terrifying journey, covering both miles and decades, as the long history of the Miracle is revealed.

Remaining episodes: End Of The Road, The Gathering and The Blood Line.

Starz has posted this behind the scenes preview of the series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcYA2s-Gqwk&feature=player_embedded

There will be differences in the American and British episodes. One reason might be to remove some of the cultural references which American audiences might not understand, but this sounds like a questionable move considering the number of shows from the U.K. which have aired in the United States–including previous seasons of Torchwood. I also wonder if there might be sex scenes which Starz would air which the BBC would not.

Russel T. Davies has said that the show will not abandon its Welsh roots and will include scenes from Wales. I hope they do not feel like they need to cut back on such scenes for American audiences. Besides previous seasons of Torchwood, I have managed to enjoy shows set in Wales such as Gavin and Stacey, despite not understanding all the cultural references on the shows.


Tardis Newsroom has videos of interviews with producers and cast of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

John de Lancie was also interviewed about his role:

Actor John de Lancie says that his upcoming role in Torchwood: Miracle Day is one of a “gruff” CIA specialist who is involved in the final three episodes of the season.

“I’m a recurring character in the final three episodes of the series,” he told SFX. “My character is CIA, very gruff, [and] unimpressed by the ‘Torchwood clowns’ as he’d call them.”

De Lancie, best known for his role as Q in the Star Trek franchise, added that the new season of Torchwood still has a “British” feel.

“My sense is the show is still quite British,” he said. “It has, mostly, an American crew, but the sensibility of it, led by Russell [T Davies], is very British.”

He also claimed that Miracle Day is “completely different… to Star Trek” and that his role involved “no technobabble”.

“It’s someone’s future, potentially real,” he explained. “I enjoyed that.”

The video of an interview with Bill Pullman on BBC Breakfast is above.

True Blood returns tonight. TV Guide has a list of ten spoilers–none of which I believe will ruin the show for anyone.

Weeds takes a trip into the future. The upcoming season, returning this week, takes place three years after last season, with Nancy getting out of prison.

Casting news for various shows is starting to come out. The most interesting is that Natalie Dormer of Tudors will be appearing on Game of Thrones.  She’ll be playing Margaery Tyrell, the betrothed wife to a new contender for the throne. Filming for the second season begins in July.

 

Same-Sex Marriage, Limited Government, And Michele Bachmann

The common response from conservatives to the passage of same-sex marriage in New York demonstrates once again that the fundamental principle of conservatism is using big government to impose their views upon others. This is hardly a limited government philosophy.

It was a pleasant, but limited, surprise to see that Michele Bachmann supports the right of New Yorkers to legalize same-sex marriage considering the amount of homophobia she has displayed in the past.

BACHMANN: In New York state, they have passed the law at the state legislative level and, under the 10th amendment, the states have the right to set the laws that they want to set.

WALLACE: So even though you oppose it, then its ok from — your point of view — for New York to say that same-sex marriage is legal.

BACHMANN: That is up to the people of New York. I think that it’s best to allow the people to decide on this issue. I think it’s best if there is an amendment that goes on the ballot, where people can weigh in. […]

WALLACE: But you would agree, if its passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor then that’s the state’s position.

BACHMANN: It’s state law. And the 10th amendment reserves to the states that right.

Bachmann’s view of this based upon states’ rights remains flawed as this should be  a matter of individual liberty. Neither the federal or state government should be interfering with the private lives of individuals by regulating who someone can legally marry. While Bachmann might support the right of the people of New York to pass this, she would far more enthusiastically argue that the people of other states have a right to restrict the liberties of its citizens. Again, conservatism is not a limited government position.

Update: Michele Bachmann’s respect for the rights of the people of New York remains rather limited as she has also repeated her call for an amendment to the United States Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and overturn the recent vote in New York.

Quote of the Day

“A spokesman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry says there’s a 50/50 chance he’ll run for president. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin says there’s an 80/50 chance she’ll run for president.” –Conan O’Brien

Bonus Quote:

“Today Sarah Palin canceled her bus tour, reportedly canceling dates in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire. When asked why, Palin answered: ‘It turns out those places are nowhere near each other.'” –Conan O’Brien

Pregnant Women Who Lose Babies Facing Criminal Charges

The Guardian reports on a new  trend in unjust prosecutions of women who have lost their babies as the right wing becomes increasingly aggressive in their desire to impose their views upon others. The Guardian reports:

Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.

Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby’s death – they charged her with the “depraved-heart murder” of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

Gibbs is the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby. But her case is by no means isolated. Across the US more and more prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals.

“Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws,” said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). “It’s turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights.”

The report notes forty similar cases in Alabama as conservatives seek to increasingly use this tactic to provide far more protection for the unborn than they are willing to provide for Americans after birth.

Women’s rights campaigners see the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion, in which conservative prosecutors are chipping away at hard-won freedoms by stretching protection laws to include foetuses, in some cases from the day of conception. In Gibbs’ case defence lawyers have argued before Mississippi’s highest court that her prosecution makes no sense. Under Mississippi law it is a crime for any person except the mother to try to cause an abortion.

“If it’s not a crime for a mother to intentionally end her pregnancy, how can it be a crime for her to do it unintentionally, whether by taking drugs or smoking or whatever it is,” Robert McDuff, a civil rights lawyer asked the state supreme court.

McDuff told the Guardian that he hoped the Gibbs prosecution was an isolated example. “I hope it’s not a trend that’s going to catch on. To charge a woman with murder because of something she did during pregnancy is really unprecedented and quite extreme.”

He pointed out that anti-abortion groups were trying to amend the Mississippi constitution by setting up a state referendum, or ballot initiative, that would widen the definition of a person under the state’s bill of rights to include a foetus from the day of conception.

Posted in Social Issues. Tags: . 4 Comments »

Quote of the Day

“Sarah Palin has canceled the rest of her bus trip around America. She had to quit before she got to Mount Rushmore and somebody asked her to name the Presidents.” –Jay Leno

Bonus Quote:

“John McCain made his claim that illegal immigrants started the Arizona wildfires without doing his research. The last time he did that we got Sarah Palin.” -Jay Leno